For the first time ever, TallSlim Tees is excited to participate in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving held by businesses all around the world.
This year at TallSlim Tees, we’re excited to take 10% of our profits during Giving Tuesday and donate it to a nonprofit organization we believe is making real, impactful change in the world today. This year, we are honored to support PeacePlayers.
We dove into the story behind PeacePlayers and we’re stoked to share what they’re doing with you. Read on to learn why we love supporting youth sports, broken communities, and PeacePlayers…
It Started In Ireland
Back in 2001, down the chilly streets of the Northern Ireland, Sean Tuohey taught basketball.
He had just graduated from Catholic University and landed a job coaching basketball to different communities. One day, he would head into the Catholic side of town. The next, he would trek into the Protestant side. Both sides loved basketball.
In 2001, there was serious conflict between the Catholic and Protestant sides of Northern Ireland. A street ran down the city that divided the communities. A Catholic school rested on one side, fronting the street, and a Protestant school fronted the other side.
Riots formed on that street, fights broke out between the schools, and both communities isolated themselves. Children from the Protestant side would avoid Catholics, and Catholics would avoid Protestants.
That is, until PeacePlayers.
As Sean Tuohey traveled back and forth between the Catholic and Protestant side of the city to teach basketball, he realized the two were far more common than they thought. They both had strong convictions and made quite a few wrongful assumptions about the other side. And they both loved basketball.
Sean recognized that sports could play a unique role in uniting communities and bringing people together across societal divides. So in 2001, he built PeacePlayers to mend the relationship between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Now, it’s something much bigger.
What PeacePlayers Does
PeacePlayers takes basketball and unity and blends them together.
By forming intentionally diverse teams, both sides of the broken community are given the opportunity to play Basketball and work towards a common goal together. In Northern Ireland, Sean put Catholics and Protestants on the same teams. When they competed together, they realized they didn’t have as many differences as they thought.
Many formed lasting friendships they wouldn’t otherwise have with kids on the other side. The kids in the program strengthened their personal beliefs, grew in respect for one another, and began to healthily stand up for what they believe. Plus, they got pretty dang good at basketball too.
In Northern Ireland, 84% of the youth involved admitted they probably wouldn’t have met a youth from the other community if they hadn’t joined PeacePlayers.
Now, PeacePlayers teaches basketball in 19 separate communities, representing 17 different countries.
Their main countries, which include the United States, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus, and Israel, have revolutionized the broken communities they’ve touched.
In Jerusalem, Jewish and Palestinian children reconcile on the court. In South Africa, coaches and players represent women in a community that wouldn’t otherwise. In Cyprus, which has the last divided capital city in the world, basketball breaks ethnic borders.
Why We’re Supporting PeacePlayers
Reading about PeacePlayers made us realize Sean is onto something.
There’s something about playing good, old fashioned basketball that makes kids forget about disagreements and conflict. There’s something about passing a basketball back and forth that says more than words. Sean and the PeacePlayers team have brought healing to so many communities, it’s impossible to ignore.
That’s why we are stoked to support PeacePlayers this Giving Tuesday. They share the values we support at TallSlim Tees: integrity, unity, and pride (not to mention our favorite sport!)
PeacePlayers also takes individual donations, so if you’d like to support their mission like us, donate here. You can be confident your money will go to breaking borders, building friendships, and healing tensions around the world.
Plus, PeacePlayers is celebrating 20 years as a nonprofit this year, so they deserve a birthday gift! Cheers, and Happy Giving Tuesday.